A new day has come

For the Week of March 6, 2023
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The backstage happenings at Y&R this past week were almost as dramatic as the show itself! Just as Y&R fires their "breakdown" writing team and the series sets a new course for 2023, so, too, have many of our favorite Genoa City denizens begun to set a new course in their own drama-filled lives. Indeed, a new day has come -- and our Two Scoops columnist is here to break it all down for you!

What a week for Y&R fans! If you've read the latest backstage gossip, you already know that all five scribes on Y&R's "breakdown" writing team were just fired. What a way to ring in their 50th anniversary, eh?! Yikes. I won't pretend to know all the goings-on backstage because I am not privy to all those details, but there is a lot of controversy surrounding these firings due to the timing of it all occurring right before the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) union negotiations, which may have provided a pay raise to all of them.

The Wrap reports that the situation is "even more brutal [because] four of the five writers of the breakdown staff are all women, one of them being African-American, who was hired with the intended purpose of expanding diversity behind the scenes per CBS' directive." Yikes, indeed. It certainly doesn't look good, especially now that the head writer, Josh Griffith (who just took over as Executive Producer after Anthony Morina's exit), will be solely taking on all their duties "to streamline the creative process" and make the show more cohesive. The backstage drama certainly doesn't look great on the surface, but it does mirror the writing structure at The Bold and the Beautiful (however, Days of our Lives and General Hospital -- the other two [of four] remaining soap operas -- still utilize breakdown writers on their staffs, so I guess it is more of a CBS restructuring decision than a restructuring of soap operas in general).

I don't know if these backstage developments will make the show better or worse, so all we can do now is hope for the best. Y&R certainly has been a little all over the place with story "climaxes" ending up a bit lackluster lately so, truthfully, all we can do is wait and see if these changes ultimately lead to overall improvements in storytelling. I did enjoy this past week, though, and maybe that is because no stories hit their climax and instead just set up potential fallout that we will hopefully see come to a satisfying conclusion.

So, let's talk about the storylines! How cute are Daniel and Lily together? Are they anyone else's favorite potential couple right now? I get so excited when they share scenes together -- and this week did not disappoint! Even though we mostly just got a tease of their potential coupling I was still living for it. I was nearly cheering at the screen when they almost kissed! I really hope that the plan is for these two to find their way back to one another (they are each other's first love, after all). I feel like they bring out the best in each other, and there is a lightheartedness to their scenes that makes them enjoyable to watch. I hope that we are not let down by their coupling the way that we have been (and continue to be) let down by the Adam/Sally coupling/un-coupling.

Ugh. That is the only word that comes to mind when I think of the Adam/Sally/Nick mess. I don't care how much the writers (writer?) try to push Nick and Sally on us -- I just don't care. I am a ride-or-die Adam/Sally fan. I really want to be excited about the fact that Adam is the father of Sally's baby, but Nick still seems determined to stick by her and be "the man in her life," even though the child she is carrying is his nephew (like I said -- ugh).

I don't mean to upset any Nick/Sally fans out there (are there any?), but I'm just so over all of it. Sure, I like to see Joshua Morrow shirtless in all his sex scenes with Sally (and I don't intend to take that for granted), but it's just not worth it. I get that the writers want to create drama for drama's sake (it is a soap opera, after all), but I just don't care. Adam and Sally were such a dynamic couple last year (something Y&R has been lacking in regard to new romances) that it is hard to just accept that Sally moved on so easily with Nick. Adam and Sally understood one another and were two of a kind. They had both made plenty of mistakes in their pasts and were trying to be better people -- and they made each other better characters.

I'm feeling the same way about Ashley and Tucker recently, too. What a great casting decision it was to bring Trevor St. John in as Tucker! He and Eileen Davidson (whom I've loved since I first saw her as Kristen on Days of our Lives in the '90s) have great chemistry! I've been loving seeing so much of Ashley since Tucker returned to town, and I hope that continues. Ashley has certainly done her best to try to push Tucker away, but she just can't seem to deny the feelings she has for him. I appreciate that, while she knows she is drawn to him, she wants to help him become the best version of himself before she commits to him. It was a great twist that Ashley was the one who bought out Tucker's debt! And I love that she is pushing him toward having his son, Devon, buy his company, McCall Unlimited. I just hope that Victoria and Nate don't ruin it all.

Where do I begin with the Nate/Victoria storyline? Do I love it? Yes. Do I hate that Victoria is now trying to use Nate to sabotage Devon and Tucker's potential deal, which would subvert the lawsuit Devon filed against Chancellor-Winters? Yes. But do I also love the drama of it all? Yes, and yes (and yes, and yes).

I don't know if I'm in the minority, but I am loving this Nate and Victoria office romance! They are hot together! I was glued to my TV during all their scenes this past week, and I am excited to see where all of this is heading. Some of you called me out in the Comments last time because I said Nate hasn't changed -- and you were right to do so. Yes, Nate has changed. I guess what I was trying to convey in my last column was that I think he hasn't changed at his core (but that doesn't mean he hasn't gone through changes). Life is all about changes, and we all change as we react to our circumstances -- and Nate has definitely gone through a lot of circumstantial changes. We are seeing him become addicted to the power that comes with being an executive at Newman Enterprises; however, I do have to point out that that type of power was likely also a drive for him becoming a surgeon, so, ultimately, I do see correlations there, and I don't feel that he has done a complete "180" or become "unrecognizable."

I liked that we saw the internal struggles Nate is going through this past week. He loves Elena, but he is drawn to Victoria on a physical and professional level. He recognizes what a relationship with Victoria could mean for him and is starting to recognize that perhaps he and Elena are not a good fit, regardless of how much he wants to make it work with her (if only to prove something to Devon after having "stolen" her away from him). If you've read my columns, you know I am not super into the Nate/Elena pairing. They were exciting for a second when she cheated on Devon with him, but overall, they have been pretty boring.

I do like Elena (and Britny Sarpi), so I do want to see her character find a better partner on the show that suits her. I really liked her with Devon (but I don't want them to reunite because I am loving Abby and Devon together), but I am curious to see who else she might be paired with. I would hate to see her written off just because she loses in love again (even though I do want to see her lose in love again because Nate and Victoria are much more interesting).

Another aspect of the Nate and Victoria relationship that I am excited about is wondering whether or not Victoria is using him. We saw more of "the old Nate" when he was conflicted about Victoria's insistence that he try to sabotage Devon's potential purchase of McCall Unlimited. Nate flat-out told Victoria that he hoped Devon would drop the lawsuit against Lily and Chancellor Winters and that Devon would decide to acquire McCall Unlimited instead. This just shows that Nate, deep down, is still a family man. He wants what is best for Devon. He wants what is best for Lily. And he wants to see Devon and Lily repair their family bond. I hope that Nate, Lily, and Devon can all ultimately resolve their issues and be a unified family again one day (Neil would certainly want that, too).

But I'm also excited that Mishael Morgan is returning as Amanda to go up against Devon in court on behalf of Chancellor-Winters. I have a feeling that Nate will be successful in his attempt to sabotage Devon's deal with Tucker, because why else would Amanda be returning? I suppose Devon could just be greedy (like we've seen him be) and want both McCall Unlimited and Hamilton-Winters for himself. I just hope that if Nate does sabotage the Devon/Tucker deal, he doesn't also sabotage Devon's relationship with Tucker. I would really like to see Devon and Tucker find solid ground as father and son, regardless of how all these business dealings pan out.

I'd also love to see Lily form the same type of relationship with her biological father, Malcolm! Yes, Malcolm was actually mentioned this past week (while Lily and Devon were arguing over who is more like the father that raised them)! As much as I hate to see Lily and Devon fighting, they both brought up great counterpoints against one another regarding the father that raised them both (Neil). Ultimately, though, I do think that Lily was right when she said Neil would be proud of her. Lily has done nothing wrong, in my opinion. She is absolutely justified in feeling that Devon is "lacking commitment." He signed the contract that merged their two companies, and now he is going back on his word. I will be shocked if he wins his lawsuit.

Neil would certainly not be happy to see Devon and Lily at odds, but I do think he would side with Lily. Devon has just been granted a great opportunity to take over Tucker's company and build a new legacy. Lily is building a legacy of her own at Chancellor-Winters, and it makes sense that she would be upset by Devon's lawsuit tainting that legacy. I would love to see Malcom return to provide some insight to both Lily and Devon and get them back on the right path of being "brother and sister."

I think Malcom's return could also be great for Phyllis. How hot were they together back in the day? They never had a real relationship, but their sexual chemistry and friendship was on another level. I doubt Shemar Moore would return to his role, but Darius McCrary was a great recast (and it was fun to see him and Bryton Hamilton reunited from their days on the sitcom Family Matters). I also think that Gavin Houston (recently seen as Zeke on General Hospital) would be a great Malcom recast (that man is dripping sex appeal -- just like Shemar Moore)! But back to my original topic: Malcolm and Phyllis. It looks like Phyllis is gearing up for another downward spiral (likely teaming up with Jeremy Stark to try to take down Diane), so it would be great for her old friend and lover to show up and help her pick up the pieces in the eventual fallout from that disaster-waiting-to-happen.

As much as I am happy to see Jack finally finding love with Diane, I want the same for Phyllis. Phyllis deserves to finally find some happiness and not play second fiddle to men who simply seem to tolerate her. Malcolm always understood Phyllis and supported her -- something she could desperately use right now! It was so sad to see her drunk and pushing away her closest friends, Michael and Lauren, when they were trying to console her. Sure, Michael could have been a bit more empathetic, rather than trying to lighten the mood, but she was too drunk to recognize that he and Lauren were only trying to help her. Sadly, it looks like Jeremy is going to take advantage of the inebriated Phyllis and rope her into a revenge scheme against Diane.

But let's move on to happier tidings for Diane -- in particular, her relationship with Jack. A new day has certainly come for the two of them since Jack proposed marriage at the end of Friday's episode! I admit I did not see that coming so quickly, but I do think it makes sense. Jack is a hopeless romantic and has been longing to find "the one" to settle down with. Now that he and Diane have become so close, it makes sense that he would want to seal the deal and shut down any naysayers. And Diane does not seem opposed to the idea at all after the way she was gushing about their newfound romance. It may be an unpopular opinion, but I hope that Jack and Diane are the real deal and become a new power couple like Victor and Nikki. I don't want to see either of them having to try to find love again at this point. Why mess with something that is working? There is still plenty of drama to be had for both of them, which they could face together.

But enough about Jack and Diane and all their drama. Let's discuss what is possibly the most drama-free couple in Genoa City -- Tessa and Mariah! Sure, we didn't see Tessa at all this past week, but it was quite the surprise to learn that she was at home with their newly adopted newborn! Mariah stopped by Crimson Lights to see Sharon and clued us in to their new family dynamic. I want to be happy for Mariah and Tessa (and I am on some level), but why is this a side story that barely gets screentime? It feels like Y&R is trying to play it safe with this same-sex family (much like they did with announcing Michael and Lauren's son, Fen, was gay for just a single episode before he and his boyfriend left town again).

Normally, the story of a couple adopting a surrogate on a soap opera would be filled with drama and uphill battles -- but not this one! The show never even cast the mother, Delphine, and now, all of a sudden, Tessa is at home with the baby while Mariah is out on a coffee run. Say what?! It would have been great to see this played out more and get to know Delphine a little bit. Maybe the writers could have even cast some doubt on whether Delphine was ready to give up her baby and give us some drama in that regard.

Instead, the show is going the safe route and just making sure that their two bisexual women in a marriage are having the most drama-free life possible. Booooooring! Why is this show so averse to drama lately? Do they even know what we are tuning in for?! Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that Mariah and Tessa are happy, but I want the writers to give us something to anticipate and cheer for instead of just treating them like background characters!

Anywho, enough of my ranting. I think that covers things for this past week on Y&R. What are your thoughts on the latest happenings in Genoa City? Don't forget to hit the Comments (here on the site or on social media) to let us know what you think!

Until next time,
Vance

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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